Two words that strike fear in any pup-parent's heart - and text message inbox.
Stop reading here if you found Mr. Hanky horrifying and not in the least bit funny.
Okay, you're still reading. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Biggie's been dealing with some digestive issues since early December. Lest you call Animal Welfare on us, the pattern - to the extent there is one - is 1-3 days of diarrhea/soft poo followed by seemingly normal/improving poo for 3-5 days, repeat. So each time we're in an upswing of the cycle, we optimistically think we're done, until the next poo disaster strikes.
First we thought it was a corn allergy, then there was the time he ate 1/2 of a 8" long rawhide in one fell swoop, with an underlying concern that Biggie's sidewalk surfing and garbage ingestion keeps causing the problem. He seems to think that "DROP IT" or "OPEN" means "take whatever gnarly rotting shit is in my mouth and hide it under my tongue or, better yet, swallow it whole as quickly as possible before my jaws are pried open and Mommy sticks her fingers down my throat." Back in my lifeguard days (long ago) I was certified in CPR and First Aid. Although I haven't practiced it in a while, I think I can clear an airway as fast as the best of them.
Anyway. Our first entry in the Poo Disaster 2008 category comes from Friday, January 4. Roger, Biggie's walker, called me in the office late that afternoon saying that Biggie had pooped in his ex-pen and it was all over the floor and had probably ruined the cheap and ugly K-Mart rug that Biggie has slowly been destroying since July 15, 2007. Now Roger, bless his heart, has cleaned Biggie's "accidents" many times in the past, but this time I could tell from Roger's tone that this was different. "Your rug is probably ruined."
The problem is that Biggie has figured out that he can move his ex pen around the apartment while he's in it. And he's a pretty clean dog. He doesn't like being around poo, especially his own. So. Imagine 80+ pound dog who has diarrhea and is upset that he couldn't hold it until his walk. He's stuck in his pen and can't get out. How to get away from the mess? WWBD?
Easy - to Biggie. Just move the pen away from the pile. Of course this has the effect of moving, spreading and grinding the poo into the hardwood floor, its crevices, and any carpet that happens to be underneath.
Which brings me to The Definitive Poo Disaster of 2007, or,
The Event at Which POO DISASTER ALL CAPS WAS FIRST ENCOUNTERED.
It was July 16, 2007. Only hours before, we had brought a cuddly, sweet, shy little furball from Vienna, VA - the last leg of a multi-day relay from Texas. P-Daddy and I were just in love with this little cuddly polar bear cub. Stubby and quiet, with the softest, sweetest smelling fur around. He was just beyond cute.
This is what he looked like when I left for work that fateful Monday morning.
Note the wee wee pad in the photo - Biggie's breeder had him paper trained already, which was such a blessing. He had some chew toys, water, a wee wee pad in his ex-pen, and I'd be back in 4 hours to feed and walk the kid. What a cute little angel!
What I had utterly failed to consider was that this was probably the first 4 hours in this little guy's 8-week life that he had ever, EVER been alone. He was asleep when I snuck out (after snapping that picture with my cell phone) and when he woke up he must have been terrified.
What I also failed to understand was that Biggie expresses his angst through his digestive system. My old dog, Boo, would puke when stressed, like Stan when he saw Wendy Testaburger. Biggie poops.
I walked into the apartment. All quiet. Something smells a little funny, but he probably went on his wee wee pad. Puppy is standing in his pen and looking at me. The pen is full of shredded wee wee pad. There are cottony pieces of wwp strewn all over the place; I could swear there were still pieces floating in the air. Puppy is all innocence and cuteness, until I get closer, see more details, and infer the following:
1. Puppy woke up from nap.
2. Puppy used wwp for its intended purpose - i.e. spot to pee and poo.
3. Puppy got bored/stressed/playful/silly/worried and decided to play with wwp, flinging poo everywhere. There is poo in his water dish, there is poo outside the pen, inside the pen, all over the floor, hanging on the pen mesh, covering his toys ... there is poo on the puppy's head.
At this point, P-Daddy, no longer able to contain his excitement, texts me: "How is he? Is he totally cute? What's he doing?"
And all I can do is respond: POO DISASTER
How does one handle POO DISASTER?
Step 1: Change out of business suit.
Step 2: Gingerly extract poo-covered puppy from pen, place in tub.
Step 3: Gather paper towels, garbage bags and lots of cleaner.
Step 4: Ignore crying puppy, breathe through mouth.
Step 5: Wipe, mop, wipe, mop...repeat ad nauseam.
Step 6: Bathe puppy.
(and then on to the originally scheduled feed/walk plan)
Three hours later, I was back at my desk at work. Good thing I live walking distance from the office. Of course, by the time P-Daddy got home that night, all order was restored, despite text messaging silence. He didn't believe that such a cute little puppy could produce so much poo. The problem was, I was so overwhelmed that I didn't take a picture. Now no one will believe me.